A Piece of History of the Hindu-Islamic Transition in Aceh

Helloindonesia.idAceh not only keeps a history of the glory of Islamic civilization during the Aceh Sultanate. Long before Islam entered the life of the people of Aceh, Hinduism had first developed in the community. One of the silent witnesses of the golden age of the Hindu kingdom in Aceh was Indra Patra Fortress located in Ladong Village, Masjid Raya District, Aceh Besar Regency.

Fortress Indra Patra
Fortress Indra Patra

Fort Indra Patra consists of a main fort measuring 4900 square meters and three other strongholds, two of which have been destroyed. This archeological site was founded around 604 AD by the son of Raja Harsya who ruled in India, who fled from the pursuit of the Huna Nation. The existence of this fort became a historical heritage regarding the entry process of Hindu influence from India into Aceh. It is estimated that at that time, the Hindu Kingdom, Lamuri, began to develop in the North Coast of Aceh Besar. This fort is one of three strongholds that mark the triangular region of the Hindu Hindu kingdom of Aceh, namely Indra Patra, Indra Puri and Indra Purwa.

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Archaeological expert Repelita Wahyu Oetomo, from the Medan Archeology Center, in his paper entitled ‘Lamuri Had Islam Before Pasai’ revealed, architecturally, some parts of the fortress still had a pre-Islamic building motif. This can be seen among others in two wells in the main fortress area that are shaped like a stupa. In the aspect of functionality, this fortress experienced developments so that it was still used until the time of Sultan Iskandar Muda of the Sultanate of Aceh.

During the Sultanate of Aceh, this fortress played a major role as one of the lines of defense in the face of the Portuguese. This fort was captured from the Portuguese by Darmawangsa Tun Pangkat (Iskandar Muda). During the reign of Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607-1636 AD) this fort, together with Inong Balee Fortress, Kuta Lubok Fortress and several other forts became the center of Aceh’s defense, especially in blocking attacks from the sea. The position of the fortress facing the Inong Balee Fortress on the east side of Teluk Krueng Raya plays a strategic role in preventing the Portuguese fleet from entering Aceh via this bay.

One of the unique features of this fortress lies in its sturdy construction. The robustness of this fortress is formed by its constituent structure made of chunks of mountain rock that adhere to each other strongly. The secret lies in the dough that glues together the lumps of the mountain rock.

The dough is made from a mixture of lime, collision of conch shells, clay and egg white. The use of egg whites as building glue like this can also be found in several other ancient buildings in the archipelago such as Borobudur and Prambanan Temples.

References : www.indonesiakaya.com
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